Hani killer expected to apply for parole, again

Janusz Walus during a Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing. (Reuters)

Janusz Walus during a Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing. (Reuters)

Chris Hani’s killer Janusz Walus is expected to return to the Pretoria high court on Tuesday morning to once again apply for parole.

On November 17 last year, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said Walus had not shown enough remorse for killing the South African Communist Party leader in the driveway of his Boksburg home on April 10 1993.

Giving reasons for his refusal to grant Walus parole, Masutha said paroling the convicted murderer would be pointless, as he “still harbours resentment”.

This followed a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling in August which gave the minister 90 days to make a decision.

Masutha said a psychologist’s report had highlighted Walus’ political ideology as a “risk factor”.

Regarding empathy, Masutha said the report had stated that it could be said that Walus “expressed remorse for the fact that the victim’s children are fatherless and the wife is a widow, however, he showed no remorse for murdering Chris Hani, the communist leader”.

Masutha said the report had painted a picture of a person who saw nothing wrong with “eliminating a communist who happens to be a father and a husband”.

“This in no way qualifies as full remorse, as he continues to justify his killing of a communist,” the minister said.

Death sentences commuted to life

Walus, a Polish immigrant, and late Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis, who supplied the weapon Walus used to kill Hani, were sentenced to death for the murder in October 1993.

Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment in November 2000 after the death penalty was abolished.

Walus applied for parole in 2013, but Masutha turned down his application in April 2015.

He then launched a review application in the Pretoria High Court, which ultimately set aside the minister’s decision and ordered that he be released within 14 days.

Masutha applied for leave to appeal, which was dismissed.
The minister then applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the ruling.

In August, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by Masutha against the North Gauteng High Court’s decision to release Walus on parole.

“The matter is remitted to the appellant (Masutha) for his reconsideration and decision within 90 calendar days of this order,” the Supreme Court of Appeal said.

Walus continued to serve his sentence in prison during these court processes.

Derby-Lewis, who was released from prison on medical parole in June 2015 after serving 22 years in jail for his role in Hani’s murder, died from lung cancer on November 3 2016. He was 80 years old. — News24

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